Jason Fagan said he bought a Wave Atlantic 4 Spa on Saturday from The Range store at Meadowhall and had it set up on the same day only to find that the pump stopped working.
He said: "We pumped it and set it all up. We filled it with water, and (the pump) stopped working.
"My partner then phoned the store and told them we would like a refund and they gave an excuse because there was water in it, they couldn't accept it because of Covid."
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He said he was then informed that he would need to contact the manufacturer to fix the broken pump instead of asking for a refund or an exchange.
"Bear in mind, it was the weekend so I emailed the manufacturer, and emailed The Range but never heard back from them.
"So on Monday afternoon, we decided to go down to the store and resolve the matter. The sales manager came out and we started explaining to him but he was abrupt towards my partner,” he said.
Later, he said a police officer came to diffuse the situation and that the hot tub was returned to the store until the matter can be resolved.
He said if no refund was not possible, an exchange would help too.
"They got a display one at their store and we were willing to buy it from them and they said no because of Covid.
"The motor was on display and you can't sell it anyway, and we would be happy to have it if it works fine," he said.
According to The Range’s website, its refund policy states that customers can return the items in an unused condition within 28 days upon receiving them.
South Yorkshire Police confirmed that an officer was called to the store on Monday.
A spokesperson said: "We received a report at 6.15pm on Monday 26 April, to an incident at the Range store in Sheffield.
"It was reported that a customer had become abusive towards staff and was refusing to leave."
The Range has been contacted for a response.